Festival Church

by Michael Ford last modified 23 Jul, 2019 04:49 PM

Guidance and help with simplifying the process of becoming a Festival Church is now being offered by the Church of England.

Festival Church

St Basil Toller Fratrum- photo courtesy Wikimedia Comms

'Festival Church' is a broad term for a range of models that allow rural churches to do things differently.

According to ChurchCare, a Festival Church is typically a church that is not used for regular weekly worship, but is still very much loved and is valued and required for the Festivals of the Church such as Christmas, Harvest and Easter.

The Church Buildings Council has set up the Association of Festival Churches as a national support body for churches who are, or are considering becoming, Festival Churches.

The association will advise on how to achieve workable solutions in the easiest possible way, offering help with legal advice, community engagement in the process and and identifying the particular strengths of the building as a focus for local and rural life.

At present our Diocese has one Festival Church - St Basil Toller Fratrum in Dorset - and it was the protracted legal process that allowed this status that, in part, led to the setting up of the Association.

This tiny Grade II* listed church with a small but extremely committed congregation stands in an isolated position in a farmyard. It is now looked after by a Friends of the church group and celebrates festivals under licence from the Bishop.

Churches who become Festival Churches still pay Parish Share to the Diocese.

Templates for PCC resolutions and letters to the Bishop asking for permission have been developed by the Church Buildings Review and the Church of England's Legal Team. Click here for more details.

If you have questions about or for the Association, please email or ring 020 7898 1875 (or try 020 7898 1863).

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